What are the most diuretic drinks? : Current Woman Le MAG

A little etymology to start. The word “diuretic” comes from the Latin “diureticus” and the ancient Greek “diourêtikos” – literally, both terms mean “to urinate” or “to urinate abundantly”. In medicine, we speak of diuretic medications (these are drug treatments that promote the production of urine) or diuresis crisis (this is a sudden increase in urinary excretion).

What is a diuretic drink?

A drink, food or medicine diuretic facilitates the elimination of water and waste from the body via urine” defines Nathalie Négro, dietitian-nutritionist. Very concretely, diuretic substances (which can be natural) accentuate the work of the kidneys, the organs responsible for filtering water from the body, reabsorbing part of it and evacuating the rest in the form of urine.

What is the most natural diuretic drink? Water, of course!

First thing to know: all drinks (natural or not) are diuretics by nature. “When you drink water, you exercise your kidneys and help with their filtration role.” specifies the dietitian-nutritionist.

However, some drinks are more diuretic than others. “Certain drinks have the power to prevent (or limit) the production of the anti-diuretic hormone, the one which is responsible for maintaining a certain quantity of water in the body.” explains Nathalie Négro.

Alcohol is also a diuretic (and should be avoided)

This is (for example) the case of alcohol. “It’s often said that alcohol dehydrates you – and it’s true! Because alcohol completely blocks the production of anti-diuretic hormone, which leads to the elimination of water contained inside the cells” notes the dietitian-nutritionist. A diuretic effect that is far too strong, and not desirable.

Coffee is also diuretic

Or, coffee also increases urine production. As stated a Belgian study published in May 2016Caffeine is an abundantly consumed natural psychotropic drug. In addition to its psychostimulant properties, it exerts a diuretic effect, the mechanisms of which are not clearly established.“Coffee increases urine production (diuresis) through several phenomena, including renal and hepatic stimulation (the kidneys and liver).

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) therefore recommends not exceeding 400 mg of caffeine per day for a healthy adult, the equivalent of 3 cups of coffee per day.

Herbal teas, draining infusions… What is the best natural diuretic?

But certain infusions and herbal teas have a particular diuretic effect, precisely because they reduce the synthesis of this famous hormone – they therefore allow the evacuation of excess water between the cells” adds the expert.

What are the most diuretic natural drinks? The most interesting are infusions made from cherry stems, dandelion, licorice, burdock, rosemary, hibiscus, blackcurrant or nettle.

Urinary infections, kidney stones… Diuretic drinks can help

These herbal teas and infusions are particularly interesting in summer, for people who tend to have heavy legs (water retention). They are also beneficial for people who are at risk of kidney stones or urinary infections – because increasing urine volume is a good prevention measure” recommends Nathalie Négro.

On the other hand, even when suffering from water retention, it is not advisable to consume diuretic drinks throughout the day – and especially in the middle of summer.precisely because there is a risk of dehydration!“Moreover, because they promote the elimination of water from the body, diuretic drinks can (in the long term) lead to a lack of potassium in the body.

Final recommendation: people taking diuretic drug treatment (in cases of high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney failure or water retention with edema, for example) should avoid diuretic drinks in the absence of medical advice.

Does the diuretic effect make you lose weight?

Do diuretic drinks make you lose weight? Be careful, this is a received idea. Indeed, as explained above, the word “diuretic” refers to a loss of water. It should not be confused with the word “slimming” which refers to fat loss. In a weight loss process, diuretic drinks are not a miracle cure!

Thanks to Nathalie Négro, dietician-nutritionist and head of the Nutritional Center of Brides-les-Bains thermal baths.

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